Elder Colton West

Elder Colton West


Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Week 87: The Power of Testimony

Another week has flown by.  This is getting kinda scary.  I feel like I'm going to blink and be back in my house...  It doesn't help that both my companion and my mom have mentioned to me that this week I hit the 100 day mark.   I only have 100 days left until I go home!  Scary stuff.

We're working and working like crazy out here.  Some of our investigators have been having trouble progressing though.  We have spent the whole week agonizing over what we can do to help them.  We studied, meditated, discussed, and studied more, all without seeing an increase in success.  It wasn't until we had a lesson yesterday night that we figured out what we were lacking.  We were trying to help an investigator figure out his doubts with a bit of church doctrine.  We tried every scripture that we could think of, but he just couldn't accept it.  I got the thought "Just share your testimony."  It was so simple that I almost didn't pay attention, but since my companion was speaking at the moment I reflected on the prompting.  I realized that we hadn't shared a single testimony that entire day!  So as soon as Elder Martinez finished what he was saying, I shared a testimony.  After I finished, he shared his testimony.  The investigator and his family were silent throughout both testimonies, quite the difference from the semi-controlled chaos that is a normal lesson in that house.

We learned a valuable lesson yesterday: never forget the power of a testimony.  As a missionary, that is one's most powerful tool.  As Brigham Young once said:

"I had only traveled a short time to testify to the people, before I learned this one fact, that you might prove doctrine from the Bible till doomsday, and it would merely convince a people, but would not convert them. You might read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and prove every iota that you advance, and that alone would have no converting influence upon the people. Nothing short of a testimony by the power of the Holy Ghost would bring light and knowledge to them—bring them in their hearts to repentance. Nothing short of that would ever do. You have frequently heard me say that I would rather hear an Elder, either here or in the world, speak only five words accompanied by the power of God, and they would do more good than to hear long sermons without the Spirit. That is true, and we know it."

I feel rather ashamed for having forgotten that principle, for I have learned it before, but I share it in the hope that it will help someone else who is in the mission, preparing for the mission, or is a member missionary.  NEVER forget the power of the testimony!  Share it often, for it is the greatest converting tool that God has given us as missionaries and members of His church.

Have an awesome week!

They tell me that we're going to have an epic p-day next week, but I don't know what it is.  Expect photos though!

Elder Colton West

El Salvador, San Salvador East Mission

a manly challenge!

New straight-blade razor

Crazy awesome storm that put a
smackdown on Berlin!

Came out of nowhere and just
flowed down the mountain

the view this morning on the way to
Santiago de Maria...the storm really
cleaned up the air

Week 86: Hard Work Pays Off

Cliché kind of title I know, but it's a very true statement.  We've seen it this week.

Last week we didn't have very many new investigators.  We resolved to change that.  We worked like crazy this week trying to contact people, but didn't have much luck until sunday.  Yesteday we found a family who are super super positive.  They have heard of the church, but have never had contact with members or missionaries until now.  They are very curious about the Book of Mormon, and the church in general.

Um, sorry to cut this short but my companion just got super sick.  We may be able to write later if we can find a member to take care of him.  Well, until next week!

Elder Colton West

El Salvador, San Salvador East Mission

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Week 85: Just Dunk It

That's right, we had a baptism this week!  Jefferson, the son of some less-active members.  Unfortunately, my camera was dead and I couldn't take a picture.  Elder Martinez has pictures, but he doesn't have his camera with him.  And my email time is being cut short so that I can catch the bus back to my area.  

Love you all!  Keep the Faith!

Elder Colton West

El Salvador, San Salvador East Mission

Editor's Note: I've thrown down a "momma challenge" to my missionary. He only has 3 1/2 month left in his mission! I have challenged him to do his group letter FIRST (at least a short one) and then do his personal emails. That way he doesn't run out of time for the group letter that goes out to about 40 people like he did this week!  I've also challenged him to take as many pics as possible these last few months and not go a Pday without sending pics!!!  Let's hope he takes my challenge :)

Elder West having fun!
Looking healthy and happy!!!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Week 84: Pull Your Head Out of the Clouds!

Another beautiful week here in Berlin!  There has been a definite change in the climate this last week.  Last month things were very hot, for Berlin at least.  Daytime highs in the 90s, with humidity.  Yuck!  This week has been cold and rainy.  Quite the opposite of how I hear that things are back in AZ.  Saturday afternoon was so cold that I ended up wearing a sweater the whole day.  It probably wasn't any colder than 65 or 70°, but I felt like it was freezing!

Work-wise, things are going well for us.  The Martinez Family are progressing slowly but surely.  Unfortunately, they didn't make it to church this Sunday.  So we went to their house sunday night to commit them to go to church next week, after teaching a lesson of course.  Jefferson is preparing for his baptism this Saturday.  And we've dropped Arturo as an investigator.  He hasn't progressed at all, and every time we go to teach him he has an excuse ready to get out of the lesson.  Hopefully he'll notice a big difference, and want to receive the missionaries later on.

So, last week I mentioned that I would be receiving a new companion.  Well, he has arrived.  He is Elder Martinez.  But he's not latino, he's gringo.  Sort of.  He comes from a mexican family, but was born and raised in California.  He was in my last district, when I was in Moncagua, so we already know each other.  He has 8 months in the mission, and this is only his second area.  Unlike most other changes, we actually know part of the reason why he got sent here.  I have a special assignment to help Elder Martinez master his Spanish.  We're working on that with lots of language study time.  As far as I can tell, a bigger part of why Elder Martinez got sent here is because of his work ethic.  As we say down here, ¡estamos echando fuego!  In english terms, we are on fire!  Working a somewhat big area like Berlin means that we are always moving.  And since Berlin is on a hill, we work hard.  I'm so glad that God sent me a hard-working companion.  It helps me to keep on keeping on.

Baggy/Trunky Moment: thanks to my wonderful little sister, I remembered that I have exactly four months left in my mission.  That's kinda scary.

Photos: I don't have any way to upload photos this week.  I'll try to send some next week though.

Have a wonderful week!


Elder Colton West

El Salvador, San Salvador East Mission

Since Elder West was unable to send us pictures this week I've
included one of my favorites of him with his mission president,
Presidente Vasquez from Guatemala.
Christmas 2015